Is "ACH Withdrawal / Acorns" fraud?

Written by Jemina Owen-Jones

May 18th, 2024

The Fake Acorns Receipt Scam

Samantha Jacobs was doing her regular monthly budgeting routine when she saw something suspicious: a line in her online bank statement reading 'ACORNS - "ACH Withdrawal / Acorns".' She had never invested via Acorns, so she was genuinely baffled by what exactly the charge was for. Puzzled, Samantha decided to investigate.

As soon as she saw the charge, she received an email. Apparently, it was from Acorns, notifying her about the same transaction and requesting her to verify her account details due to some system updates. Samantha began to panic as she had no recollection of signing up for Acorns in the first place, so she followed the email's link to log in and verify her details.

Simultaneously, her phone buzzed, displaying a call from a local number. The caller identified themselves as an Acorns representative, explaining that they were investigating unusual activity on her account. Samantha shared her concerns about the suspicious transaction and the representative assured her they'd look into it and would need to verify some account details. In a panicked state, Samantha complied. After the call, she realized she may have been too hasty in sharing her details and started to grow suspicious.

Deciding to independently look up Acorns' customer service, Samantha dialed the number, only to find out that the previous call and email weren't from Acorns at all, they were a scam. Samantha's heart dropped as she realized she'd been tricked into logging into a phishing site and speaking with a fake representative.

Quickly, Samantha reported the fraud to her bank and credit card company. They advised her to continuously monitor her accounts for unauthorized activity. Samantha also enrolled in an identity theft protection service for further protection.

Recalling recommendations from a friend, Samantha decided to download the SimplyWise app for monitoring her financial activity. With its cutting-edge technology, she could easily cross-check her receipts and detect any fraudulent activity. Feeling more secure knowing SimplyWise was in her corner, Samantha was confident she could support her own financial life by staying vigilant and proactively guarding against scams.

How to Protect Yourself from Scams and Fraudulent Receipts

Scams can occur to anyone and they have become increasingly sophisticated. Therefore, it is crucial to stay on guard. Here are some steps to keep in mind:

1. Verify Emails: Always check the sender's email address carefully. A tiny typo or an odd-looking address can often expose a scam.

2. Avoid Clicking Links: Instead of clicking links in emails, access the official website by typing the URL into your browser.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication: This is an extra layer of protection for your accounts that goes beyond the simple username and password security.

4. Monitor Your Accounts: Check your bank and credit card statements regularly to catch any unauthorized or suspicious transactions swiftly.

5. Report Suspicious Activity: Upon receiving a questionable email or identifying unauthorized transactions, report it to the respective company and your bank immediately.

6. Use SimplyWise: The SimplyWise app assists you in managing your receipts and detecting unusual activities. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Download SimplyWise

Download the SimplyWise app and connect your email account. SimplyWise will search through your emails and find all the receipts in your inbox. This allows you to understand what exactly you are paying for when you see a bank transaction on your statement.

Step 2: Connect your Accounts

Connect to your bank account/credit card transactions through the secure (256 bit encryption) Reconciliation feature within the app.

Step 3: Reconcile

Reconcile the charges reported by your financial institution against what you’ve recorded in your SimplyWise account. Find fraud quickly! SimplyWise will match your transactions to your bank/credit card spending and check those items off.

Find fraud quickly!

SimplyWise will match your transactions to your bank/credit card spending and check those items off.

Experiences like Samantha's underscore the importance of staying informed and cautious to protect oneself from falling victim to similar scams. Tools like SimplyWise can provide an extra layer of security, making it easier to manage receipts, monitor your accounts, and detect fraudulent activity before it metastasizes into a major issue. In today's digital world, vigilance is our best defense against financial fraudsters lurking in the shadows.

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